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Poster: William Tell Date: Aug 24, 2011 1:32pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: A few more newbie questions

First, and foremost, your desire for form in jams will be assisted by a selection of some 68 & 69 material. Relative to the space, etc., of post 75, in any case (eg, the Eleven is defn highly structured). So, although there will be DS's, they will be shorter, and the suites (DS-SS--11--DDHNM or CE--OOne--CE--NPC) will seem relatively consistent, formula driven even, one might say, if you sample these particular "must hear" shows:

6-14-68 (poor AUD, with low vocals, BUT even the feedback has structure to it)

8-22/24-68 (Two from the Vault; recordings here)

10-12/13-68 (no kybds; easier to pick out the instruments)

12-29-68 (amazing guitar work on the OOnew, post drums transition)

4-5-69 ("live dead" esque, with MotMoon-->DS segue to give you more motivation to listen to DS)

4-6-69 (ck out the DDHNM alone...it's worth it)

11-8-69 (ck out the UJB, sans lyrics, within the jam, to give you more "form")

These are just a few to give you a lite homework assignment for the weekend.

I'll let others address your other queries...as for singing, just listen to the studio albums to realize Jerry does most of the leads on famous early DEAD tunes (UJBand, DWolf, NSBoogie, CJones, FotDevil, DS, etc) while Bob does some of these (SMagnolia, PitBand, etc), but many of the covers (MTried, M&BMgee, M&MUncle, NMBlues, BIODTLine). Phil rarely sang (BoRain, PoCucam, UBChain), but of course, those three did harmonies on the early studio works. Pig sang tunes like LLight, GMLSchoolgirl--blues style tunes...

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Poster: kdern Date: Aug 24, 2011 3:45pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: A few more newbie questions

Thanks for the suggestions - will put these on the top of my list of shows to find!

Right now I'm listening to 8/6/74 (Roosevelt Stadium) and loving that most of the tracks are actual songs, maybe even too short! I just skipped the 18 minute Eyes of the World.

Thanks...

Edit: Finished listening to the show and found it really annoying. The audience noise is completely distracting and many of the songs sound rushed. Aside from Sugaree and Jerry's solo on Deal, I could skip the rest of it.

This post was modified by kdern on 2011-08-24 22:45:34

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Poster: clementinescaboose Date: Aug 24, 2011 11:43pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: A few more newbie questions

Eyes definitely could be a "jam song" you might be able to wrap your ears around. More melodic, straight forward playing. Those '73-'74 usually have nice soloing during the verses, and jazzy chord progressions in the post song jam. I would check out that 8/6 version for sure - it's long, but stick with it, its considered one of the best Eyes ever and is my personal favorite.

You probably would also enjoy Let It Grow, Here Comes Sunshine, Morning Dew, Dancing In the Streets, (probably the later, more funked-out version of the song) and the China Cat Sunflower>I Know You Rider segues, as well as the other shorter jams others mentioned like Scarlet Begonias>Fire On The Mountain and Bird Song. There are times when I'm just not in the mood for an epic Dark Star or Other One and these kinds of more conventional jams can be easier on the ears.

This band could be considered the ultimate "acquired taste".
Don't give up on the big, long jams - they may seem aimless, you might not like it at first. KEEP listening to them. Listen with headphones, in a quiet space, no distractions. Try to follow one instrument at a time to start out, see if you can keep with it. Patience and repeated listening are the key to this music.

There were jams for me that I just "didn't get" or wasn't really paying attention to for years and when they finally click it's the ultimate "eureka!" moment. Part of makes this band so addicting for deadheads.

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Poster: light into ashes Date: Aug 25, 2011 10:50am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: A few more newbie questions

You know, the guy said he found 8/6/74 "really annoying" and didn't like anything except for Sugaree & Deal...
To me he sounds like a budding 1977 fan (lots of slow-paced songs w/o formless jams), or perhaps a JGB-head...perhaps we're barking up the wrong tree and should be recommending JGB shows to him instead?

It's interesting for me to hear that "patience & repeated listening" are keys to the music. I think most the things I like in the Dead, I liked the first time I heard them (esp. the long jams).....or maybe it's just that I haven't been patient enough yet to warm up to the stuff I don't like!

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Poster: ringolevio Date: Aug 25, 2011 7:37pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: A few more newbie questions

This piece is interesting to me since I'm a huge JGB fan but it's not because I want to avoid jams ... it's more a craving for straight-up Garcia ...

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Poster: clementinescaboose Date: Aug 25, 2011 2:08pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: A few more newbie questions

True, but i took it as having more to do with the sound maybe? Maybe if he heard a SB copy it would be better. He probably also doesn't appreciate the Playin'>Scarlet>Playin' which goes pretty deep.

It's interesting to me actually that you 'got' the Dead so quickly; so many people I know (including my self) took quite a while to 'warm up' the the band's sound. It's just so dense that I think for a lot of new listeners the sheer scope of sound and band interaction is hard to absorb. For me, almost every time I hear a jam I hear something new in it or hear it in a different way. Props for having an exceptional ear!

This post was modified by clementinescaboose on 2011-08-25 21:08:49

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Poster: clementinescaboose Date: Aug 25, 2011 12:38am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: A few more newbie questions

Some recommended song versions w/ links

Eyes of the World:

5/26/73

http://www.archive.org/details/gd1973-05-26.sbd.miller.patched.83535.flac16

10/29/73

http://www.archive.org/details/gd1973-10-29.sbd.miller.32352.sbeok.flac16

6/20/74 - Slipnot! jam

http://www.archive.org/details/gd74-06-20.sbd.clugston.2179.sbeok.shnf

5/7/77

http://www.archive.org/details/gd77-05-07.sbd.eaton.wizard.26085.sbeok.shnf

8/10/82

http://www.archive.org/details/gd1982-08-10.sbd.miller.102577.flac16

Weather Report Suite/Let It Grow:

9/11/73 - really Jazzy version w/ horns

http://www.archive.org/details/gd73-09-11.sbd.lanum.184.sbeok.shnf

7/31/74

http://www.archive.org/details/gd1974-07-31.sbd.miller.32353.sbeok.flac16

10/29/77

http://www.archive.org/details/gd1977-10-29.sbd.miller.92085.sbeok.flac16

5/1/81

http://www.archive.org/details/gd1981-05-01.sbd.miller.107437.flac16

Here Comes Sunshine:

2/15/73

http://www.archive.org/details/gd1973-02-15.sbd.hall.1580.shnf

11/17/73

http://www.archive.org/details/gd1973-11-17.sbd.ashley.23472.sbefail.shnf

2/23/74

http://www.archive.org/details/gd1974-02-23.sbd.miller.115607.flac16

Dancin' In The Streets:

2/26/77

http://www.archive.org/details/gd77-02-26.sbd.alphadog.9752.sbeok.shnf

5/8/77

http://www.archive.org/details/gd77-05-08.sbd.hicks.4982.sbeok.shnf

10/27/79

http://www.archive.org/details/gd1979-10-27.sbd.miller.98950.sbeok.flac16

China>Rider:

8/27/72

http://www.archive.org/details/gd1972-08-27.sbd.latvala-eaton-lutch-dankseed.4682.shnf


5/26/73

http://www.archive.org/details/gd1973-05-26.sbd.miller.patched.83535.flac16


5/17/74

http://www.archive.org/details/gd1974-05-17.sbd.miller.89972.sbeok.flac16

Morning Dew:

9/11/73

http://www.archive.org/details/gd73-09-11.sbd.lanum.184.sbeok.shnf

2/24/74

http://www.archive.org/details/gd74-02-24.sbd.windsor.199.sbefail.shnf

5/8/77

http://www.archive.org/details/gd77-05-08.sbd.hicks.4982.sbeok.shnf

9/18/87

http://www.archive.org/details/gd87-09-18.sbd.samaritano.20025.sbeok.shnf

















This post was modified by clementinescaboose on 2011-08-25 07:38:40

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Poster: midnightcarousel Date: Aug 25, 2011 6:17am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: A few more newbie questions

You skipped the Eyes of the World? That is the best thing in the whole set. At least check out the first 8 minutes or so. Garcia's soloing is off the charts. And the exit jam is pretty spectacular, although if you haven't developed a taste for the long jams then you might not appreciate it. In any case I heartily recommend you investigate that cut.

As for early years I heartily second all of WT's suggestions. I personally think that Dark Star holds the essence of what the Dead were best at, and encourage you to try to develop a taste for it. If you haven't tried it already, go for Live/Dead. I think that's the best Dark Star to begin with. If you've heard it already, listen again, and then again, and then a few more times after that.

As for DS lacking "structure" - I have to take major exception to that. It doesn't usually have the structure of a conventional song or even a symphony, but most of the early versions have very clearly defined structure. The form is usually impromptu and develops organically, but it's absolutely there. Also, it ABSOLUTELY has chord changes, despite being a mostly modal (scale-based) piece. I'll do my best to illustrate, but I can't guarantee the formatting on this web site will make it look very pretty:

Intro chords: variations on A G A G (listen to Bob)

A G A G, etc.
Dark star crashes, pouring its light into ashes

Em A Em A, etc.
Reason tatters, the forces tear loose from the axis

Em A Em A, etc.
Searchlight casting, for faults in the clouds of delusion

A Em
Shall we go, you and I while we can?

A Em
Through the transitive nightfall of diamonds...

You get the point. The chords are basically used to emphasize the modality of the song (A mixolydian). If you want a lesson in "less is more" with regard to chord changes, check out "So What" on Miles Davis' album Kind Of Blue. Only two chords in the entire goddamn song, and it's absolutely captivating from start to finish.

I sympathize with your position, though - there was a time when I thought Dark Star was rather boring. Try out a few different ones. Most of the 1968 versions are under 15 minutes and are decidedly snappy, so that might be the ideal place to start.

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Poster: light into ashes Date: Aug 25, 2011 10:43am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: A few more newbie questions

I agree the 'short & snappy' 1968 Dark Stars would be good starting points - he liked 4/28/71 which is relatively brief & eventful. If an 18-minute Eyes scares him off, I think asking him to try listening to 20-30 minute Dark Stars repeatedly will sound too much like homework!

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Poster: midnightcarousel Date: Aug 25, 2011 6:49am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: A few more newbie questions

Another thought - on the Live Dead dark star, pay close attention to the drums, and Phil's bass. Hearing how those two elements hold the structure together is really fun.

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Poster: light into ashes Date: Aug 25, 2011 11:05am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: A few more newbie questions

Part of your reaction may come from listening to the audience recording. It might be a good idea to stick to soundboard tapes, for clearer sound & you don't get distracted by the audience.

As far as recommendations, it helps others when you say what parts of the Dead you HAVE liked the most so far....1972 shows? 1977? Certain favorite songs? I suspect you might like 1971 in general as there are lots of short rockin' songs and the jams are kept relatively brief. Then again, maybe 1977 is your sweet spot; that's one of the most popular Dead years. 5/7 and 5/8/77 are two of the most famous Dead shows, with lots of Jerry in the second sets. (Also, 1977 is the top year for Sugarees, hands-down; although the Deals get better in the '80s.)

I also wonder how much Jerry Garcia Band you've heard - basically all Jerry songs all the time, and very little "space" or really long jams. The Saunders/Garcia stuff up to '75 is probably too way-out for you (tons of long jazzy excursions with organ), but the shows with Keith from '76-78 you might like, or perhaps the more uptempo '80s Garcia Band shows with organ.

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Poster: kdern Date: Aug 25, 2011 11:25am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: A few more newbie questions

You guys are awesome...

My favorite tapes so far are...

Europe '72 (my introduction 10 years ago)
Cornell 5/8/77 (cliche, I know!)

Also like...

8/27/72 Veneta, OR (great Sugaree)
5/2/70 Binghampton - Acoustic Set

I def like the soundboard tapes better... doesn't everyone?

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Poster: ringolevio Date: Aug 25, 2011 7:35pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: A few more newbie questions

>I def like the soundboard tapes better... doesn't everyone?

No :)

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Poster: dark.starz Date: Aug 24, 2011 2:48pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: A few more newbie questions

Is it possible to choose one single Dark Star as "the standout?" 2/13/70 may be the most discussed.

Here's a tasty version from 09/19/70.

http://www.archive.org/details/gd1970-09-19.sbd.reynolds.97906.flac16

Remember the Lay's slogan from the 60's? "nobody can eat just one"

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Poster: William Tell Date: Aug 24, 2011 4:20pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: A few more newbie questions

Ah, if poor recordings are an issue, skip the 6-14 suggestion.

And, as noted by Dark Starz, go DIRECTLY to 9-19-70 for a GREAT DS, with form (skip minutes 8-13) as it has a nicely structured jam, and the post StSt/NFA sequence has a beautiful CCSunflower sequence (more structure) inserted into the jam...

This is ONE fine DS.